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Internal Flash

The internal flash in the QV-3000EX was a little worse than I'd hoped. Lacking in enough power to light a group photograph but not controlled enough (wash outs) for closer shots. Skin tones also suffered fairly badly as images seem to have a cyan cast using the flash.

Skin tone flash test, yikes, the QV-3000 has really washed the colours out of the skintone. There's a strong cyan cast from the flash.
 
Wide angle flash coverage test. This shot taken only 2 m from the wall shows slight drop-off at the corners.
Medium range test shot. Fairly good exposure, though getting focus in low light is tough. Macro flash test shot. Not too bad, slightly over exposed but the exposure system could have been confused by the reflective surface.
 

The QV-3000EX features flash intensity control, there are two levels (weak / strong), the test shots below show the difference between each flash level.

Flash Intensity: Weak
 
Flash Intensity: Normal Flash Intensity: Strong


Manual White Balance

One often overlooked and extremely useful feature is being able to manually preset white balance. This is a standard feature on all professional digital cameras but only available on the best consumer digital cameras. The QV-3000EX features manual white balance presetting through a menu option [example here] once you've set the white balance from a white sheet of paper or white wall you can be sure that all images you shoot in that environment are perfectly white balanced (that is white is white and all other colours can take a reference from that). Often automatic white balance system are confused in odd, multiple or low light. The examples below show the difference between Auto white balance and Manually presetting the white balance.

Auto White Balance
1/2 sec, F2.0
Manual White Balance
1/2 sec, F2.0


Manual Modes

The QV-3000EX also supports a full range of manual exposure modes, as standard there's a Shutter Priority (camera automatically calculates aperture) and Aperture Priority (camera automatically calculates shutter speed) mode, using a special key sequence you can also access a fully manual exposure mode (any combination of Shutter speed or Aperture can be selected). Each mode and settings detailed below:

Shutter Priority BULB, 60s - 2s, 2s - 1/1000s
Aperture Priority F2, F2.3, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8
*only available using SET + DOWN hidden key sequence


Panorama Mode

Panorama Loader SoftwareThe QV-3000EX supports a built-in panorama mode which allows you to shoot a wide (landscape only and left to right only) panorama image from a set of up to nine images. After you've taken the first image the right quarter of that image is overlayed on the left side of the LCD viewfinder helping align the next image to the right etc. (exposure will be locked to that used for the first image). After all images have been taken press MENU then you can switch to PLAY mode to scroll through your panorama.

Using the supplied Panorama Loader software (right) you can stitch the images together to generate a wide JPEG or (rather disappointingly low resolution - 320 x 240 or 480 x 240) QuickTime VR. The image below was generated using Panorama mode on the camera then Panorama Loader to stitch two images together (image then 1/2 sized in Photoshop for ease of viewing):


Movie Mode

The QV-3000EX's movie format is AVI Motion JPEG format (Codec available in QuickTime 2.0 or greater), recording a movie shoots at 320 x 240 pixels, 10 fps for a maximum of 30 seconds at a time. Shooting generates about 300 KB/s, for 30 seconds that would be 9 MB. Rough total storage shooting multiple movies in a row are shown below.

CF Card
Capacity
8 MB 16 MB 64 MB
128 MB 340 MB
(microdrive)
Available recording time in seconds 26 53 213 426 1,133


Continuous Mode

Continuous shooting mode allows you to shoot about 3 images (at 2048 x 1536, NORMAL quality) at 2 fps. This can be useful for snapping a piece of action. The LCD does not display a preview image between each image shot, instead it's advisable to use the viewfinder to stay locked onto the subject. Storing 3 images from continuous mode can take up to 14 seconds.

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